Leeds United consolidated their position in the play-off places in The Championship on Saturday afternoon as they beat Bristol City 3-0 at Ashton Gate in a surprisingly one-sided affair.
Samuel Sáiz has turned out to be one of many impressive additions made by Thomas Christiansen this summer and he put in another sublime performance in this one by scoring a brace. Pierre-Michel Lasogga then killed the game off with just over 20 minutes left to play.
Both sides were then reduced to 10 men with around 10 minutes of the match remaining as Gaetano Berardi and Matty Taylor clashed. This result saw Leeds move two points clear of their opponents who have now dropped out of the play-off places.
Sheffield United, Wolves, Cardiff and Villa continue to perform
It was a good day for teams competing at the top of The Championship as Sheffield United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Cardiff City and Aston Villa all won against Reading, Preston North End, Middlesbrough and Fulham respectively.
Chris Wilder's Sheffield United side continue to impress following their promotion from League One last season as they picked up another three points with a 2-1 win over Reading at Bramall Lane. Paul Coutts put the Blades in front with a beauty before Billy Sharp doubled their advantage just before half-time. Roy Beerens did pull one back for the visitors but it was too little too late for Jaap Stam's side.
Meanwhile, Wolves went two points clear at the top of the division as they held on to beat Preston 3-2 at Molineux. Nuno Espírito Santo's side took a three goal lead courtesy of a brace from Leo Bonatini and a goal from Ivan Cavaleiro. However, a smart header from Jordan Hugill and a Connor Coady own-goal reduced the deficit for the away side and set up a nervy finish.
Middlesbrough's struggles under the management of Gary Monk continued as they were beaten 1-0 by Neil Warnock's Cardiff who continue to impress this season. Joe Ralls converted from the spot with just over five minutes to play to heap a significant amount of pressure on the Boro boss who is now in desperate need of a positive result.
It has been a dismal couple of years for Villa supporters to endure but they look like they might finally be able to challenge for promotion back to the Premier League this season under the management of Steve Bruce. Goals from John Terry and Albert Adomah were enough to secure the three points for Villa against Fulham, despite a first-half equaliser from Stefan Johansen.
Are Norwich and Derby play-off candidates this season?
Many believe that Norwich City and Derby County were two of the biggest underachievers in The Championship last season as neither secured a place in the play-offs. However, they have both hit some form of late and both picked up another three points this weekend.
The biggest match of the weekend took place on Sunday afternoon as Norwich took on East Anglian rivals Ipswich Town at Portman Road. James Maddison's curling strike on the hour mark was enough to secure the bragging rights for the away side following a number of opportunities for Ipswich in the first-half. This result means that Norwich are now unbeaten in their last nine games against their rivals.
As for Derby, it was vitally important that they followed up last weekend's win over Nottingham Forest with another positive performance against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday and this is exactly what they did. They were boosted by an early penalty decision going their way which saw Wednesday captain Glenn Loovens sent off. Matej Vydra kept his cool to convert from the spot before Bradley Johnson added a second late in the second-half.
Vital wins for Hull, Forest and Millwall
Hull City, Nottingham Forest and Millwall have all made an inconsistent start to the season but were all able to pick up a vital three points this weekend against Barnsley, Burton Albion and Birmingham City respectively.
Hull's 1-0 win over Barnsley at Oakwell on Saturday afternoon carried an extra significance considering it was their first win away from home in a total of 427 days. The Tykes had dominated large periods of the game and created numerous chances but Fraizer Campbell's finish late in the second-half turned out to be all Leonid Slutsky's side needed to secure the three points.
Nottingham Forest manager Mark Warburton had already started to come under some pressure from the club's supporters after a poor run of form. However, a much-improved second-half performance from his side at The City Ground against Burton saw both Barrie McKay and Eric Lichaj find the back of the net to secure a vital 2-0 win to take the pressure off. Forest now have two tough away games coming up against Hull and Reading.
Saturday night's televised game saw Millwall take on Birmingham City at The Den. The Lions would have been anticipating a tough game following Steve Cotterill's recent arrival at Birmingham but it turned out to be a rather comfortable victory. An own-goal from Maxime Colin and a second-half strike from Ryan Tunnicliffe were enough to secure the win. This result sees Birmingham outside of the relegation zone by just one point.
Goal-fest at Griffin Park as Sunderland still cannot find a win
Sunderland supporters must have thought they had secured a third win of the season when they found themselves 3-1 up at half-time against Brentford at Griffin Park. Nico Yennaris had given the hosts the lead before a brace from Lewis Grabban and an own-goal from David Bentley saw Simon Grayson's side go into half-time in a commanding position.
However, a stunning effort from Florian Jozefzoon straight after the restart got the Bees right back into the game and a deflected strike from Neal Maupay with little over 10 minutes remaining earned them a crucial point to increase Sunderland's woes.
Elsewhere, the only other Championship game to finish level was at The Macron Stadium as Queens Park Rangers equalised late on to secure a point against Bolton Wanderers. Darren Pratley had given the hosts the lead in the first-half before Idrissa Sylla secured Ian Holloway's side a share of the spoils.